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Messages - J.R. Darewood

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Writers' Corner / Re: Explain your magic systems
« on: May 06, 2016, 06:58:11 AM »
I changed my approach to magic quite a lot, after doing more research on how fiction creates mystery, wonder, and uneasiness. My old approach was pretty safe, predictable, and reliable, which just doesn't really work that well for the kind of fantasy I have in mind.

@Yora That's the direction I've gone with magic too-- though I've gotta say I really liked your original system you posted first-- It sort of kick started the gaming nerd in me :)  I especially love how silver plays a role in f*ing up magic.

In my system, different people from different places explain magic differently.  The Magi who dominate the world see it as a logical system developed through study-- folk types and those who escape the magi (who if discovered are persecuted as witches) see it as tied to nature, and religious people see it as tied to the gods.  Different countries and different regions also have their own take on it all (as well as which gods are good, which gods are bad etc), and different political relationships with the magi.

I started to write it all out in greater detail but then i realized it was gonna take me all night and I got tired and deleted it all....

Writers' Corner / Re: Book Planning
« on: May 06, 2016, 06:18:25 AM »

@Mr J--- sorry to hear that.  How did you get into your particular mess?

Ouch man. That's hard times. Sympathies. Still we gotta do what we gotta do.

Hate to ask this, but are you sure that it's the world and character that at fault, and it's not just that you've created interesting things but sold them badly? No point wasting a lot of effort chasing the wrong problem.

In any case, assuming the setting is at fault, try to look at it as less re-imagining, and more delving deeper into what you've got. Maybe you don't even need to change a single thing - merely add more things. Possibly a bit unlikely, but you won't know until you start digging.

Well, I got a review from HarperCollins and some other beta readers have seconded this-- they really like my side characters.  They find them intriguing.  But they think my MC is just too average and boring. He's not strong or heroic, he runs away a lot, he's just wrapped into this heroic-epic sort of storyline watching other heroes mostly fail at being heroes.  So I need something to make the MC more interesting, was my take away.

None of the beta-readers have complained about the world-building, but the setting is very standard D&D-type generic fantasy.  I've got my own spin on a few things, but it doesn't have a cohesive flavor to it.

I think the bottom line is that what makes my plot unique and interesting are twists that can't be revealed at the beginning so if I want to package/sell this as a book, I need the setting or the MC to have an immediate twist to them that will give the novel a defining character (so I can market it as interesting without spoiling the plot to potential readers)


Thanks man, glad you enjoyed it. :) As far as the resurrection thing, oddly enough, the entire story was inspired by the beginning of Mass Effect 2! (one of my favorite videogames). Light spoilers for the intro:


If science did find a way to restore the living skin, brains, flesh, muscle, and life to a person's long decayed skeleton, making the essentially intact and alive, would the resulting person be the same person who had died? Or someone ... or something ... else?

Clearly, playing videogames is an important part of the writing process :)  They need to start teaching THAT in MfA classes!!!

Creepy thought.  Luckily he just felt ennui and not some sort of sociopathic soullessness....

Writers' Corner / Re: Book Planning
« on: May 03, 2016, 08:18:05 PM »
I'm kind of in the unpleasant situation where my imagination has just done a shitton of plotting, I wrote the first novel in the series, but I need to go back and add more world-building and character-building to the story (people think my MC is boring and the world needs some extra spice).  It's really difficult to try to re-imagine your setting after you've written so much tho-- like seriously hard to get my brain to do it.

Writers' Corner / Re: Book Planning
« on: May 02, 2016, 07:05:23 PM »
Speaking of notes, I literally have one whole wall completely filled notes and ideas for my book  :P. 'Sigh' I guess I better stop planning and get writing because as this rate I'll be old as Jmack by the time I'm done ;D


Introductions / Re: Twitter
« on: May 02, 2016, 06:54:55 PM »
I can't think in 140 characters or less.  :)  I have it set up so you get a stream of fantasy concept art and random cool photos from my twitter feed

Introductions / Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread
« on: May 01, 2016, 11:35:58 PM »
Fallas portuguese?  Eu fallo um poco portunol
No double L ;D --> 'falas', 'falo'

Queres tentar falar portugues comigo? via PM hehe
Didn't you know I was portuguese?
E o Lanko tambem é brasileiro :)

I should have guessed with the Bea in your name... I'll PM you!

Introductions / Re: Twitter
« on: May 01, 2016, 10:31:07 PM »
I don't even think I'm following a lot of stuff. Sleep and wake up with like 300+ new tweets. Might even miss some great things but I don't bother scrolling through everything.

I never go back and read my feed, so unless I see it as it happens. I probably miss it. But I did set up a "List" of publishers, I can look at that and see all of their tweets without having to filter through whatever the latest drama/outrage I may have missed. (There can be lots and lots of twitter drama). I also check a few friends here and there occasionally. But yeah, I'd rather read a book than read my entire Twitter feed every day.

Yeah, I read the twitter trolls and the occasional entertaining Twitter faux creative nonfiction (but really fiction) when it comes out on a Buzzfeed article.

As for actually using Twitter... I just set it up to automatically link to my Tumblr (kick-ass-quotes.tumblr.com and bradley-darewood.tumblr.com) :)  no idea how to use the damn thing.

Introductions / Re: Twitter
« on: May 01, 2016, 06:07:33 AM »

I'm on twitter @BradleyDarewood

and facebook at www.facebook.com/bradley.darewood

Introductions / Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread
« on: May 01, 2016, 06:04:47 AM »
Hello everyone.

I'm LordIronhawk and i'm new to this kind of forum (always RPGs for me).

Looking for writing advice and to learn how to be a good writer when doing it in English (I'm Brazilian).

Hey Lord Iron Hawk--

Nice to meet you! What RPGs do you play?

Fallas portuguese?  Eu fallo um poco portunol

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Game of Thrones
« on: May 01, 2016, 01:16:52 AM »

First off, I never plan ahead. I've had enough near death experiences to realise I might die tomorrow. Nothing is going to prevent me from enjoying a book I can read now.

Amazing how your attitude towards reading has got me completely captivated imagining what your near-death experiences might have been....

Writers' Corner / Re: Book Planning
« on: May 01, 2016, 01:07:56 AM »
The current series in my head has the characters major plot points, key scenes planned out piece by piece over the last 20 years.  I've only written about 5% of what i've got in my head tho and still (endlessly) revising that tiny chunk.  My imagination runs way faster than my ability to write.

Fantasy Resources / Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« on: April 30, 2016, 11:56:06 PM »
Photoshop and AutoREALM

Writers' Corner / Re: Frustration
« on: April 30, 2016, 11:45:06 PM »

There's a lot of fiction written on the Absolute write forums....

But seriously, you should start subbing Loose Circuit!!!!

It's on my To-Do list! I'm going to be getting feedback from my DC writer's group on episodes 1 to 5 on May 22, then I'll be getting feedback on episodes 6-10 in late July some time. After that, it'll probably take me at least a few months to implement all the feedback.

At that point (probably around September/October) I'll start tossing Loose Circuit to agents. As for Supremacy's Shadow, my next step before I self-publish it is direct submission to Baen (they take unsolicited manuscripts and do a lot of mil sci-fi) but I'm holding off on that submission until I can talk to a couple of Baen authors I've gotten to know pretty well, at Balticon. I'm hoping someone will give me at least a cursory recommendation which might help me get out of the slush pile a bit quicker.

Not related to Gollancz, but I recently received a rejection from Ragnarok Publications (I submitted Supremacy's Shadow to their open door) and it mirrored the Angry Robot rejection. Basically "this is a great book, well written and interesting, but it's not right for us."

While it continues to be nice to hear that from an editor, it remains a let down. It would be nice if my "well-written, interesting" book is "right" for some publisher, eventually... :0

Conceptually, i think LC has a much stronger hook. (For my tastes at least-- I'm not really the military type)  But also I imagine that sometimes it's less about the book and more about the hook/package that can be sold as some sort of new and interesting flavor that readers will buy.  (again, no experience to back up my imaginary musings about how publishers make their esoteric decisions)

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